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Coaching your sales team to success — Put That Coffee Down (with video)

How sales parallels sports in getting the best performance out of your team

Coaching a sales team to success shares similarities with coaching a sports team to a championship. 

Dooner and Kevin Hill break down how successful managers have empathy, planning, action and support in their toolbox to support and motivate their teams.

Put That Coffee Down is sponsored by OpenDock,

Managers have to have a plan and a playbook to coach their people, Dooner says, because a focus just on numbers doesn’t inspire coaching. 

Hill says that when you are planning a coaching session with your team, it is most effective to find out where your process is struggling the most and come up with incremental changes instead of scrapping the entire process. 

Dooner and Hill talk about managers being sure to use their data in the most effective way; sometimes that means using technology to replay your sales meetings or Zoom calls, making it like game footage for a football team. 

They caution these meetings need to be optimized because useless meetings can actually turn into a resource sink for your company. 

Dooner and Hill talk about how successful coaching happens when you know where to focus your energy; coaching should be spent on the team members who perform in the average 60% range, leaving out your bottom 20% and your top 20%.

Hill says putting a ton of effort into your bottom performers isn’t worth it because you “have to take nothing and turn it into something average.”

The top 20% in your team may be so used to the validation that comes with success they may be uncoachable overall. 

Dooner and Hill bring on Brad McBride, founder and CEO of Zero Down Supply Chain Solutions and NCAA football national champ, to showcase how winning at sales parallels winning at football. 

McBride won the 1985 national championship with the Oklahoma Sooners and knows that successful teams come from preparation and separation. 

He says people on your team need to know what they are facing and what their role is when facing it. 

Playing with people like Brian Bosworth and Troy Aikman taught McBride how to handle superstars both on and off the field, and he says you need to find ways to motivate your star athletes or sales people to share their successes with the whole team.

McBride says three segments of business coincide with three segments of football: sales, operations and troubleshooting parallel offense, defense and special teams. 

Success comes from putting the right people in the right place and coaching them to be the best they can be. 
You can find more Put That Coffee Down recaps and recaps for all our shows here.

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Kaylee Nix

Kaylee Nix is a meteorologist and reporter for FreightWaves. She joined the company in November of 2020 after spending two years as a broadcast meteorologist for a local television channel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kaylee graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and immediately made the Tennessee Valley her home. Kaylee creates written summaries of FreightWaves live podcasts and cultivates the social media for FreightWaves TV.